340 move. She said nothing. Behind her, seated around a lamp, were the others, with their heads lifted to listen. " Maybe it's not that/' Mr. Munn suggested. But the bark- ing was closer, and circling. " Durn," Doctor MacDonald said, and stood upright from the chair in a sudden motion. The dogs were retreating toward the house. Their barking was furious, deep-throated, incessant. Professor Ball stood behind Cordelia at the door. "Come here," Doctor MacDonald commanded, and Cor- delia came to him. She laid her hand on his arm. " Don't get excited," he told her. The others crowded into the room. "Do those kids know I'm here?" Doctor MacDonald de- manded. "No," Portia said, "they don't know." The dogs were near now. " If it is anything, I can't get out now," Doctor MacDonald asserted. "They're all round." The others looked at each other, not speaking; except Cor- delia, whose eyes were on Doctor MacDonald's face. " I'll try the loft," Doctor MacDonald said. Professor Ball moved toward the hall door, Portia by his side. "No," Doctor MacDonald ordered. "Sit down. Go sit down like you were." They stood and looked at him. " Like you were," he said sharply. "Be talking, or something. I'll get in the loft and pull the ladder up after me." Almost casually, he removed Cordelia's hand from his sleeve, then turned and was as the hall door in three abrupt, plunging strides. They heard his feet heavy on the bare boards of the stairs. " Where's Isabella?" Portia suddenly demanded. No one answered, each looking questioningly at the others. Portia started toward the hall door "I'll get her," she said.